Blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic has partnered with the non-profit Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to monitor and curb the use of Bitcoin in transactions involving child pornography. Elliptic already works with the largest US and European Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors, and helps law enforcement agencies gather evidence in investigations involving Bitcoin.
In practical terms, the foundation has provided its database of Bitcoin addresses associated with child pornography to Elliptic which will integrate it into its transaction monitoring and investigation products. From now on any system that uses Elliptic services will automatically alert financial institutions and criminal authorities to any wallets that were involved in this illicit trade.
Susie Hargreaves, IWF CEO, said: “Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing amount of Bitcoin activity connected to purchasing child sexual abuse material online. Our new partnership with Elliptic is imperative to helping us tackle this criminal use of Bitcoin.”
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Mark Birch, former Detective Chief Superintendent, National ROCU lead for Intelligence, said: “Elliptic and IWF’s partnership represents a major step forward in Bitcoin’s evolution. Elliptic has demonstrated to banks, law enforcement and the public at large that they are taking meaningful steps to eliminate the illicit use of Bitcoin. They have set an important precedent for Bitcoin companies worldwide to fight crime.”
Elliptic CEO and co-founder Dr. James Smith said: “We have a profound respect for the critical and difficult work that IWF undertakes. We are proud to take a leadership role in combating Bitcoin’s use to facilitate these terrible crimes. In a world’s first, Elliptic’s clients can now automatically monitor all transactions for any connection to proceeds of child sex abuse.”
Back in March Elliptic secured a $5 million investment from Santander and others empower banks and law enforcement agencies to monitor bitcoin transactions. The funding round was led by Paladin Capital Group, a private equity firm headquartered in Washington DC, focusing on disruptive technologies with security applications, which is headed by an ex-NSA (U.S National Security Agency) director.